Sunday, April 23, 2006
Before I get swept up in the events of today, I want to take a moment to thank some very dear people. I had quite the scare, yesterday, when my beautiful little "Diva" (moorit & white, HST that I bought from Stephen Rouse, last summer) started acting VERY strangely. She laid on her side, tossed her head about, strained and then flipped over on to her back, seemingly struggling. I couldn't imagine what was going on but I knew this was not any kind of normal labor. And, indeed, Diva had been fine just moments before.
Diva repeated these acrobatics several times and I was panic stricken. I lured her to the barn (my sheep would WALK THROUGH FIRE for animal crackers!) where I gave her some NutriDrench (a vitamin/mineral/energy source supplement) and a bunch of animal crackers. Diva ate a bunch of 'cookies', nibbled on the molasses mineral tub that I give the girls the last couple of weeks of their pregnancies, and then wanted back outside. She seemed fine so I let her back out. She returned to grazing and would occasionally lay down and contentedly chew her cud. I of course, continued to be a basket case...
I posted to the Shetland Breeders List and dear Marry Ellen Kelly (aka: "Bo Peep") was kind enough to CALL me to offer whatever assistance & expertise she could, over the telephone. Mary Ellen has been breeding Shetlands for years and is the woman who first introduced me to the breed. She assured me that although Diva's behavior was not typical, it was within the range of normal for a first time mom. Mary Ellen felt that since Diva had responded so well to the NutriDrench and now appeared fine that it is probably case of Diva being a "Diva" and not liking the signals she's getting from her body...her lamb has dropped into position for birth. I felt much better after talking with Mary Ellen.
Last night Stephen called. Stephen is one of my very favorite Shetland people. He is kind and funny and generous and truly loves his sheep. Diva is the second lamb I have got from Stephen's farm "SHELTERING PINES" in Michigan. Stephen is like "the guru" of Spotted Shetlands in the Midwest. Mr. Guru assured me that Diva's behavior didn't even surprise him! He pointed out that her grand dam is "a screamer"!!! Oh GOOD! Just what I wanted to hear. I can't wait to see how Diva handles actual labor if this is how she deals with her lamb dropping into position for birth... Anyway, Stephen also assured me that I had treated the situation appropriately and wished me luck with the upcoming event...
I also got a wonderful e-mail and offer of support and advise from Bill Stearman, in Canada. Bill & I met, through Stephen and he owns a Bluff Country HST ewe: "Zha Zha Mikaela". Bill also offered his support, council and shoulder. Bill is owned by an incredible flock of exquisite Shetlands at "Willow Garden Shetlands" in Prince Edward County, Ontario. If you visit Bill's web site (which I HIGHLY recommend) please drop him a note and ask him to fix the link to MINE...... ;-)
The last time I looked out the window, Diva was laying by the big tree in the girls pasture. She never lays there.